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On Living Abroad

By November 22, 2013

Yesterday evening, I received grave news that my grandmother was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit due to blood infection (septic shock) brought on by the infection of a cut on her leg. She was drifting in and out of consciousness. Overnight, her situation turned for the worse and doctors have informed my parents to gather all my grandmother's loved ones in preparation for the worst.

Since receiving the news, I have been filled with sorrow, remorse, guilt, worry and pain. Even at work, I felt that I was looking at everything through an oxygen mask, the sounds of my surrounding was muffled by my grief and emotions. Physically, I was at my office desk, but my mind was far, far away.

In Chinese culture, filial piety triumphs every other virtue. In times like these, I question my decision to live far away from my family: Is the cloudless blue skies, safer climate and better quality of life worth it when it means I might not be able to see my beloved grandmother for the last time? Is being with my boyfriend of four years worth it if it means I am unable to support my mum and dad through this difficult time?

Fortunately, my grandmother is displaying grit and strength in the face of adversity. While the bacteria was invading her lungs and her kidney, her heartbeat was constant and she remained positive. As such, she is currently in a stable condition, though doctor's dare not release her out of the ICU due to the fact that her blood pressure is still low.

Being her granddaughter who has chosen a life across the sea, miles away from her, all I can do is pray for her condition to not worsen, and for her to get through this tough and trying time. If you are reading this, please remember my grandmother in your prayers tonight...

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